Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Campaign of Support for Au Ver a Soie

Please please join us!

Let’s give support to Au Ver a Soie by ‘Liking’ them on their Facebook page.
And if you would like to leave a note of support, all the better!
Let’s tell them how much we value their silks!

Even though the site is in French, it is fine to leave a message in English.

Thanks, Kate, for getting this started.
Gay Ann

From Kate:

If you're a Facebook person, you could show support by "liking" A Ver a Soie's Facebook page:

They only have 1559 "likes" at the time of this message, so we clearly need to show some more appreciation. :-)

Just a thought!


The Fire at Au Ver a Soie

Hello everyone - I thought I would jump in and add some information before panic runs amuck.  Au Ver a Soie is wounded but not devastated.  We talked to one of the owners this morning about the extent of the damage and we will learn much more early next week.  She is a member of the Boucher family who run Au Ver a Soie.

One thing I would like to tell you is that Boucher family is devoted to the production of silk. In the past they have suffered much deeper losses and they have rebounded. In fact, the entire Au Ver a Soie factory was mistakenly bombed by the Americans in WWII and the Boucher family totally rebuilt it. Theirs is an ancient family business, they have always taken the long view of it and just like the factory bombing in WWII, they will bring the business back again from this fire .One of the things they learned from their WWII disaster was the importance of distributing the expertise, machinery and stock to ward off single disasters bringing down a company and they have planned wisely over the years.  While the capability at this plant was severely damaged, the company has a network of machines, partners, etc around France and these partners will help the Boucher family weather this.  Their stock was distributed in multiple places too - phew.  So, being in the know a bit, I am confident that we are not in imminent danger of losing Au Ver a Soie, a relief to us all.

The fire will certainly delay some of the new threads for a while and I am sure that some colors may be scarce for a few weeks, but these conditions will only be temporary.  I am not overly concerned about the machinery losses, an example being a new skeining machine that was destroyed, as the skeining operation for threads sold in the U.S. is done at Access Commodities (we prefer a different size/packaging in this market).  So some capability losses won't impact us as they are already shifted to machinery here.  What I am concerned about is time.  In any small business, there isn't an excess of labor and things like this delay new initiatives in favor of getting basic operations back running.  I know that the time I spend shoveling snow represents hours not spent shipping or working on new things.  It will be the same for Au Ver a Soie, with some things delayed a bit. 
I am sure you will hear about the fire but don't fear - it isn't about a total loss of capabilities, it is more about a diversion of valuable time until they make adjustments. The adjustments may take a few weeks or months, but Au Ver a Soie will indeed be up and running again. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Whew! My Needlepoint Hearts Sale is Over, so What's Next?

My Hearts Sale finished and I'm mailing packages, a division of my little business I call 'Mail Jail'.

After the first day of the sale I ran out of my Imperial Emeralds Heart kits and had to make more. I'm stalled now in Mail Jail, waiting for Kreinik braid. It will arrive soon enough and I will be able to finish Mail Jail as soon as it does.

So what comes after my Hearts Sale?
Two things:

First, Freedom to spend large chunks of time stitching. I can't wait! My head is full of ideas just waiting to make their way onto canvas.

Second, my portrait of Catherine the Great will arrive on my website on May 2.
This means I have to get busy making kits. I have just a little over 2 months to count beads and label threads, cut canvas and assemble everything.

I know it is still winter, but I am looking forward to spring this year and my two activities ahead.
Yay! I'm through most of the grind and looking forward to the fun parts.

Gay Ann

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Among My Hearts this February is Imperial Emeralds Heart

It's almost time for my hearts to arrive; they will be here bright and early on Thursday morning, February 12.

Featured in my sale will be the first heart of a series of six called 'Imperial Jeweled Hearts'.
The first one is the most decorated and glittery heart I've ever stitched; it is Imperial Emeralds Heart and I made it to commemorate the over-the-top jewels of the Romanovs.

I can't imagine emeralds the size that Catherine the Great wore!

My emeralds aren't real but they do sparkle! My diamonds aren't real either, but like the emeralds they do sparkle too! My pearls are real in in all sorts of sizes and together with my emeralds and diamonds they are very glittery.

I particularly enjoyed my series of Imperial Jeweled Hearts. Usually my work is more restrained, but restraint was not the order of the day, making a statement was. I hope you will stop by Queendom Website on Thursday morning and see my 'statement jeweled heart'. Perhaps I should have named it Statement Heart.

What about the other five jeweled hearts?

They will arrive sprinkled as surprise treats throughout 2015 in celebration of the arrival of Catherine the Great on Queendom Website. She arrives on her birthday, May 2.

When I started posting about my needlepoint portrait of Catherine the Great, it was months and months away! When I posted on New Year's Day it was 5 months away. Now I am writing again and it is only 2 1/2 months away. I had better get busy because Catherine will be arriving before I know it.

How does time pass so fast!
Gay Ann